Wednesday, 30 November 2011
HISTORY. What are we without our past? True, many of us do not remember too much about what had happened years ago. But this is not an excuse not to fight for what is due, which was agreed upon by our forefathers in the political arena. I for one have been trying to contribute my two cents. And I will surely be resting in peace...
UPKO CALLS FOR MORE SABAH SEATS
KOTA KINABALU, 29 Nov 2011: Upko has called for the restoration of Sabah and Sarawak’s right to have at least 34% of the total number of parliamentary seats in the country.
Its secretary-general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau said the present seat allocation in both states was lower than what was agreed in two key documents drawn up during the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.
He said the party had studied the Cobbold Commission report and the Malaysia Agreement signed on Aug 28, 1963 and found that the distribution of seats in the peninsula must not be more than two-thirds of the nation’s parliamentary seats.
“Peninsular Malaysia was allocated 104 seats, Singapore 15, Sabah 16 and Sarawak 20, making it 51 seats outside the peninsula, or 34% of the 155 parliamentary seats at the time.
“Unfortunately by 1974, the peninsula was given an additional 10 seats while there were no additional seats for Sabah and Sarawak,” Tangau said.
With the withdrawal of Singapore from the federation, it was now possible for the peninsula to secure a two-thirds majority without the support of Sabah and Sarawak, he pointed out, adding that the peninsula had 166 seats now against Sabah and Sarawak’s 51 seats.
He said that to rectify the situation, Upko had proposed to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms last week that Sabah be allocated 10 seats and Sarawak 21 seats, making it a total of 87 seats for both states.
“With 87 seats versus 166 seats, it will no longer be possible for Members of Parliament from the peninsula to amend the Federal Constitution without support from Sabah and Sarawak,” Tangau said.
Also highlighted in the 101-page proposal to the PSC was the party’s resolve to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the existence of Project IC holders and clean up the electoral roll.
Until the RCI cleared all doubts on the existence of Project IC holders, he said Upko would not support the automatic registration of voters who turn 21.
Upko also wants the restoration of the distribution of seats according to racial composition.
Tangau said the redelineation of electoral boundaries by Election Commission in 1993 saw the beginning of a systematic reduction of non-Muslim natives and Chinese-dominated seats. THE STAR